Category Archives: Philosophy and mind tinkering.

Solar Man

Click photo to link to “Solar Man” Facebook Auction 

Truth be told, I occasionally make components that get set aside because I’m not sure what I’m doing with them. I have some creative compulsions that take over, mid day, then I decide I better get back to bread and butter and think it all over.  In this case, the human figure, foot, bowl and the open part of the stem were all “accumulated” over time. Then one day I look around and see that I almost have something. The figure happens to eye up with the stem well, I add the outer arcs and rays to it (the stem), add some gold and silver fuming, assemble and here we are.

I’ll tell you again that I know exactly “what” I’m doing, but I figure out how as I go,because “the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray” you know?
I just aim for the light and it all comes together. That’s faith.
We watch and listen and move, guided by light. I couldn’t doubt it again if I tried. I’ve received enough confirmation to fill all the cups ever made, and I aim to share it above all else. Dogma free.
I thank you for the very important part you play in fueling this transformative fire that burns for you as much as any.
It’s there when you look for it, it’s there when you don’t.
It won’t wait to shine. It’s just what light does. What it does to a person when they answer it, stand naked in it ??
It changes them from an animal into a Human Being.
It’s the hardest thing for a person to do. Also the most worthwhile.
Shine Brighter every moment, ask all the questions and see for yourself what this place is really about.


Always beads, they’ll always be a thing for us. It’s the original object.  It’s a thing transformed.  A rock with a hole in it has more possible futures than one without.  A rock with a hole in it is cool, it feels good in the hand.  You could throw it, hand it to someone, or string it up to keep and wear.  A reminder of places worth returning to.

So if the goal is to put information on these “rocks” in the form of patterns and colors. The information is more effective at communicating the message without words or established symbols. These would be distracting from what’s really going on here. The focus is the process, not the objects that result from it. Although the objects do improve greatly with this somewhat counter-intuitive approach.

I like this thing called “Beauty”,  it seems like a good objective to me . It has the desired effect. It warms, connects and motivates. It doesn’t NEED to say a damn thing. It just looks good, and you don’t really care why.  It’s not trying to sway opinion or activate your chakras, it’s just nice work. You can tell it really loves you, because it doesn’t try to own you. Beauty shows us what it means to just be open and aware that we belong here, exactly as we are.  There’s details, but it’s the feeling beneath it that you want to make note of. So you can realize it exists inside you.

Like a flower. It’s so beautiful you could cry. You can see how much it loves you, and you feel the same way. Fragrance, symmetry AND color?  This relationship feels right and true to all who see it. Beauty connects us and it pulls us. The Butterflies and Hummingbirds agree, but they aren’t even aware of “beauty” they just ARE it.

A Calendula from our garden. Caught it opening and again a few days later...
A Calendula from our garden. Caught it opening and again a few days later…

The awareness of love and beauty is a gift and a responsibility. The difference between us and the butterflies is awareness. We can observe ourselves. I think this is uniquely human. This capacity for self-reflection.

Making the objects is a mantra and a self-reflective practice. When we are making an object, there is nothing else.  All of the self is looking to make miniscule connections to move the form just a bit closer to what the mind’s eye wishes to see with each attempt. The maker gets many pings back from the material and process. These serve to continue the cycle of questions and answers. It is the answers from this “ONE” that you will use for the next “ONE”.

 Practice: to perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.

This is practice you can see, to remind a person on a deeper level that it is the practice you seek and not the bead.

Objects, what we see and feel with eyes and hands are tools for learning about the non-material practices. To practice being present and within yourself is the practice of practices. I practice while making them, your practice while stringing them is no different. It’s always only one, and it’s always right now.

Hollow blown boro beads by Beau Barrett
Hollow blown boro beads by Beau Barrett

I love a good marble or paperweight. It was these cavernous carnivals of light that helped show me what glass could become. Big spheres filled with psychedelic scenes that induce wonder. Wonder how, wonder what, wonder who. But I never wondered why…

A bead, is sneaky and mechanical. It will accept your advances and walk with you all day. It will call people over without asking you. It might just quietly interrupt an observers train of thought. One bead can change the course of an entire day and it’s not bound to the display case…it’s bound to you.

What other object becomes a part of the owner so well? Especially when their own efforts are applied to use this object as a jump-off for their own creation. Beads are quite literally an opportunity that does not discriminate.

These are the stones, and the world is the pond. I try to throw them accordingly. Thank you for catching them, using them and observing them accordingly.

I’m headed to the torch now, beads will be available for purchase tomorrow morning!

Thanks all!!


Shook down the library, all set for extended torch play…

(^^took that photo of a picture they have in the entrance of the library. what’s not to like about getting along ya know?)

I mentioned going to the library as a kid yesterday…  Shani usually swings by there with Atom when she’s out and I’ve been needing to go by and get a card so perfect thing to do yesterday. Shani dropped us off and ran an errand while we tore the place apart! (not really, cool visual though).

I also have a big bag of books on my shoulder just so you don't think I made Shani carry my books lol.
I also have a big bag of books on my shoulder just so you don’t think I made Shani carry all the books lol.

I’ve been a podcast junkie for years but we have a bandwidth cap here, so the audio-books at the library are a more economical option to help lighten the data usage here.

This is my pull from yesterday… Atom has been covering the gardening and poultry. All he’s been checking out are duck raising and gardening books, which is what Shani has been grabbing at anyway. He has us read them as bedtime stories. It’s pretty awesome because most of it is stuff we all want to learn so, win all around….Dreaming of protein ratios, duck foraging habits and aromatic living compost…

I did show Atom all those fun how-to-draw books and he was all about it. He can’t wait to dig into those after school today…

30 CD's worth of old sci-fi radio shows. The odyssey and a little Eckhart Tolle to keep it real. A couple old glassware books to flip through is always nice...not sure what's up with the John Maeda book but I like simple so it should be worth a read...
30 CD’s worth of old sci-fi radio shows. The odyssey and a little Eckhart Tolle to keep it real. A couple old glassware books to flip through is always nice…not sure what’s up with the John Maeda book but I like simple so it should be worth a read…

I’m  going to segway really quick on this sci-fi tip to mention;


 A customer/friend of ours has a son that  just published this book. It’s now available on Amazon! Congratulations Lucas! New blood, new material. If you like sci-fi, I bet it’s good. Keep his fingers to the keys, invest in virtuous potential futures and grab a copy today!

Outcasts of the Worlds by Lucas Aubrey Paynter now available for paper or kindle on Amazon.
Outcasts of the Worlds by Lucas Aubrey Paynter now available for paper or kindle on Amazon. Click the photo to link to purchase page.


After that we stopped by the awesome farm stand down the way for a couple of snacks and some extra veggies for dinner.


Super awesome Dahlia…The triad arrangement caught my eye, haven’t seen many like that. The do really well here. I’m a fan.


So the rounds have been made, connections inspired and initiated.

Now, is the part where I put a disc in the player, straighten and clean this bench, then just dig in and do the work. I got the white board out for this week, lets see if I can erase it before the next trip to the library…

There will be new auctions this week, just not today. This picture below is where I’m headed this morning, that kiln is starving…The now is calling...

The now is calling…not just me…


Sunday Spintop Origami! Art & Craft, one in the same…

It’s Sunday, you’re either out and about playing, hustling or struggling, at home sitting, playing etc. Maybe you have kids and you all need a project?

Our son is 5.  With a “project” in his hands his attention is so concentrated and still. You can observe the place where he goes from the chatter and into the flow. It’s different for everyone but  he’s a quiet worker when he’s working with something he has practice with, he goes into the process and brings something back besides a new creation. There’s smiles and standing up straight. There’s excitement to be alive. “I made this! Look what I did all by myself!” Just saying, it doesn’t matter what it is, if you can find a place to slow down and try something challenging, and learn something new, it will open you up.

Atom at work. He has a little spot between Shani and my torch stations to work in. That's where his torch would go if/when he's onto that.
Atom at work. He has a little spot between Shani and my torch station to work in. That’s where his torch would go if/when he’s onto that. It’s all hooked up under the bench…

Like folding paper. It’s paper, but spend a few hours with colorful squares and it becomes something else. Paper will never be the same to you after that. You will see things you never saw before from then on. Like how you never noticed (insert activity/craft/hobby) here until you did it, you opened up a new spot, you turned a different light on, now it’s everywhere!

Before the internet (I’m a whopping 35 years old). I used to check out books at the library!   These were usually how-to crafty type of books. Paper airplanes, science experiments, how-to-draw books, knot tying. If it’s something you can do with two hands I’m probably interested in knowing how. I’ve even tried knitting and crochet, I was terrible at it but am happy to know how it’s done in case I need to fashion a pair of ugly mittens real quick. 🙂 “Just don’t forget the tassel’s bro!”

It’s like that with everything. You might have an affinity for certain materials and attitudes, but they all have value and they all have hidden insights and provide wonderful contrast to their inevitable counterparts. You can’t go wrong people.

If you adopt, identify and associate with just one aspect of this experience, the ability to understand and make connections with other aspects will be greatly compromised.

The war of art, or the war of craft, in the center of each you will find all kinds of flow. The war is won and lost, simply by succeeding or failing to start. As soon as you begin, everything changes…

Your determination humility and bravery to try new things, and be open to the idea that who you are, may be something you have to work hard to discover. To raise your determination to a higher level than the resistance that will keep you to afraid to try.  There is little that can be understood about certain things without doing, without trying because failure is even more educational than success. If you pass GO the first time around, it’s still there waiting for the next pass. Pass go knowing that it’s a blessing, that some folks get slammed in the intersection and slow down, take it all in, then maybe you see and understand a few things to help you through the next time around.  Because you have to. Things will be different then so you need to look close again, and connect what you learned now, with what you’ll learn then. “A-haa!”


The saying “jack of all trades and master of none” is kind of true, but needs salt once things get rolling.  Having a focus is  important, but you have to look up and away from time to time.

All that focus you cultivate and brew, when you bring it up to aim at an outside target, it is charged.  It has the potential to spark and ground something in here, with something else “out there”.  These are the “A-ha!” moments, no matter how big or small. When you have them, you’ve broken new ground and this is being more of who you are. This is the universe being more of what IT is.

Even if it’s just you, sitting at the dining room table by yourself or with your kids trying to figure out how to fold squares of paper and assemble them into a spinning piece of something just to see what it’s like. To see if you can, and to say you did. Then they’re laying around when your friend comes over and you talk about it…

Ellie had commented on some of my glass spinning tops on Facebook and I noticed some Origami in her profile. (Cause I can’t-not see it ya know?) Next level is that she has these guides on Snapguide for making SPINNING origami.

Wanna make one? Go get at it then!  Thanks Ellie!

Spinning tops made by Ellie Kneeland
Spinning tops made by Ellie Kneeland

     Check out her other published guides here!

Labor day post before I get to work.

La·bor Day
noun: Labour Day; noun: Labor Day

a public holiday or day of festivities held in honor of working people, in the US and Canada on the first Monday in September, in many other countries on May 1.

That means be thoughtful about the people who have to work today. When you checkout with your booze at the grocery store, and go in to pay for your gas on your way to have a good time. Give those folks a breath of fresh air to help them through the busy day, just care is all. It could have been you.
That’s the thing, it’s like that anytime you’re off the clock. Someone else is on it, in your favor, driving the cab, serving your table You have what you have, because someone did the work to create it and another to bring it near you, and you did the work to earn it.

We run this school of energy exchange and there’s no such thing as a free lunch. So thanks for doing your part.

Just don’t forget that the time, the love and the energy is where the only real value lies. These are things we try to print on dollars, coins, ones and zeros, but those who know, know that love is rose and it will grow whether you pay it to or not…
If you are a rose, then it’s not even about “being the best rose”. The rose wishes to become the greatest possible expression of what it is.

It knows that it is part of a greater process, that it cannot fail. The rose reflects on the instruction written in the parents seed to reveal a spiraling sequence of increasingly complex structures, functions and very specialized apparatus. It simply follows self-instruction, it can hear, and feel the sun say when to jump, and it does, and it grows and it blooms and it lives. Flowers are masters of attention, they have it in the right place at the right time, then things just bloom and make fruit.

The time, the love and the energy. It’s how flowers, bugs and stars do business…laborers of love make wonderful teachers…


Gratitude for a Saturday morning like this…


Atom going in on that burly stem...
Atom going in on that burly stem…

Harvesting a pumpkin with my wife and son, a couple dogs, ducks and cat in tow.  There’s other stuff to do, but we did this first and the tone is set.  The seeds were planted, the work got done. There’s some messes to clean and some broken shit to fix but this living simple stuff is what is up.  You get rid of crap, you let go of some things, and you might get to have a life.

The more you have, the more you have to carry, and every driveway is a garden that got paved.  Not trying to get all hippy-dippy or fundamentalist “back-to-basics” on you because I’m also here working to use technology to the fullest. What’s real is real.  The idea here is to use our complex nature, to engineer a simple existence. This  is what many would call the NEXT level.   It’s lost in the fray to extremism.

The whole point here is that it’s not hard or expensive to try things. People grow a grip of veggies in pots on porches and patios. It’s this thing that people sold off or gave away so long ago now.

It’s part of what some people are missing.  To know what it feels like to facilitate food.  People don’t make food, they create a space for it to come into being, they make a home for it and they nurture and raise it with an understanding of reciprocal stewardship. We think we’re looking out for the plants and animals and they think they’re looking out for us, everyone is right.  It’s an agreement with the universe, a true give and take that teaches a person what it means to be a person.

Put seed in, cucumbers come out. The better your relationship with the whole, the more you get. It’s a pretty solid reward based system. That can spot a cheater in a second.

People say, “plant a tree”, “grow a garden” it’s pretty cliche’ which is what it is. I’m just here saying that my family sacrificed to move to this spot where we grew a small garden and hatched a couple Ancona ducks this year.

It’s not like we made money doing this,  but I’ve never felt so rich as I did this morning while looking at this tray of fresh picked cucumbers.  Four varieties that you won’t find anywhere but a fresh farmers market or roadside stand.  Lemon Cucumbers, Asian cukes, slicing and pickling. Got it covered.

Cucumber haul! So stoked!  Lemon, Asian, Slicers, and enough picklers for another batch!
Cucumber haul! So stoked! Lemon, Asian, Slicers, and enough picklers for another batch!


P.S. I love pickles and pickling so much that I WILL be getting into that whole topic another time. Kimchi and fermented foods are something we have a lot of experience with and really love to make and eat when we can. For now, here’s the current batch sour dills from picklers that I picked a little over a week ago..

This jar could be a little bit more full but other than that they're coming along nicely. Straight up, real deal brine fermented dills. No vinegar, no heat processing. aka. REAL pickles. "why yes, I am a pickle snob, but I will share all my secrets."
This jar could be a little bit more full but other than that they’re coming along nicely. Straight up, real deal brine fermented dills. No vinegar, no heat processing. aka. REAL pickles. “why yes, I am a pickle snob, but I will share all my secrets.”

Almost forgot the duck show!  We hatched these two about four and half weeks ago and they’re just starting to get some real feathers in.  Short and sweet is that ducks like water and tend to like the slimy things that live near water or in moist places like the PNW.  There are huge slugs everywhere here so Ducks and their appetite for slugs makes them a perfect fit here.  Cats pouncing moles and other rodents, ducks chomping slugs. These aren’t pets, they’re a part of the team!! Barrettfam 2014, chomping slugs and taking names!

Our two ancona ducks, bobbing for slugs. I can hear you “ewww” already.  Don’t worry, the cuteness of the ducks totally offsets the gross factor. Enjoy!


The things that lay in the path… Don Juan x Walt Whitman

In the book “Teachings of Don Juan” by Carlos Casteneda. Don Juan Matus was an old Yaqui shaman who at one point says;  “For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length–and there I travel looking, looking breathlessly.”

SO, that’s the path I’m talking about. When you’re on one, you find things. They seem like they are there on purpose. People call them coincidences, I like to call them synchronicity. It’s almost as if you cross paths with your SELF.

Today, I found the Walt Whitman poem “Song of Myself” in the path that is my Facebook feed via Mr. Paul Stankard. You can send him a friend request and read his post if you like.     He was talking about his introduction to the works of Whitman, as a “God Manufactured Coincidence” or “GMC moment.”  “when he saw and bought the copy of Justin Kaplan’s “Walt Whitman: A Life”  for $.50 at a used book stall in the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. ” he goes on to say how; “This award winning biography opened my mind to many years of pleasure both reading about Whitman’s life and reading his poetry. ”

So then he posts about it, and I run across it am subsequently moved by it, and the least I could do is leave it here for others to discover. This is how it works.

Facebook is not a path with heart, but it is an aspect of the path we can work to follow, so we notice the things that we love, we share and we build on them, wherever we go, whatever we’re doing, whomever we’re with. we try to remember what the path is about, so we can grow on our ability to stay trained, navigate and shed light a greater upon it.

Here’s To finding and following your paths with heart, because they all cross somewhere…


-Have you reckon’d a thousand acres much? have you reckon’d
     the earth much?
Have you practis’d so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the
     origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are
     millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor
     look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the
     spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things
     from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.

-an excerpt from Whitman’s “Song of Myself.”   You can read the whole version here. (it’s long and awesome, you’ll need to make time).


…are you for Scuba?

Really though…the boat  is leaving right now! Don’t even finish reading if you don’t have time. Come back later.

This is about cultivating the spirit of being open to the next right thing.
There are times when strange folks might offer you a look at their world.  Your mother told you not to talk to or go with strangers. You are a grown up now and strangers are just other people that think you might be strange too.

Don’t miss the opportunity, these uneasy social moments are where you make or break communication and where we get to be truly human. This is your chance to say “no thanks bro, I’m too cool to leave my comfort zone”.

Or you can be the one that says, “which way to the boat, lets do this.”

Only one choice earns the story to tell and the notch of experience in your belt.   The people that pull your hand towards adventure, know adventure and want to share it with you. Be brave and say yes sometimes, live this life.

Your cronies might attempt to belittle you into staying high and dry on the beach where required effort is at is least. You don’t give even a little shit cause you’re going and glad you decided.  You have chosen to lead from the front. Now they stand their wondering if they should have gone too, as they should. Maybe they’ll choose differently next time, but that’s not your problem, you did your part and set an example. You paved the way kid, you are living and working to be more of who you are. Keep that up.

Historically it’s been true that some of the most terrifying  adventures and situations have been the most worthwhile and fulfilling.  It might not be skydiving or a physically harrowing experience that taunts you, it might just be saying yes to something socially risky, those things where the only thing stopping you is what other people will think.  In those moments, just remember, that for an anxious or neurotic person the rush of going through with, and being over with, a nerve-wracking  challenge can be equally exhilarating and the most worthwhile.

Don’t miss the boat. If you do, keep watching,  they pass all day.

Self Reflective Spinbreak. Words up, tops down. Tops up, words down.

….then we meet in the middle.

This is how it goes, as above, so below, but with a constant twist, you know?

This is how we roll, a little fast, a little slow. In the middle, is where there’s flow.

This is all we know, the where we were, where we are and the where we wish to go.

This what we are, this where we stand. It’s  the present, the point of power.

It’s where black is white and white is black, then it’s gray, where thoughts become things,

like day-dreams in night-scenes..